Konferensartikel

The Cultural Transfer of a Concept: C. P. Snow’s “Two Cultures” and the Swedish Debate

Emma Eldelin
Department of Culture and Communication, Linköping University, Sweden

Ladda ner artikelhttp://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=025;article=021

Ingår i: Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11-13 June 2007

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 25:21, s. 185-203

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Publicerad: 2007-11-27

ISBN:

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)

Abstract

In the Cambridge Rede Lecture of 1959; C. P. Snow expressed his thoughts on “The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution”. His idea of “the two cultures”; described as a gap between scientists and “literary intellectuals”; attracted much attention in Swedish debate from the early 1960s onwards. In this essay; I present the concept of “the two cultures” as deeply grounded in Snow’s personal experiences and in a British social; political and cultural climate. Furthermore; I discuss the Swedish interpretations and transfigurations of Snow’s concept and; above all; how they differ from Snow’s views. “The two cultures” is here regarded as a concept which was discussed in relation to certain other concepts in a Swedish interpretative framework. In Sweden; “the two cultures” was related to concepts like Bildung; humanism; the humanities; and science. The Swedish debate on “the two cultures” often drew from historical perspectives on these concepts; and was affected by earlier influences from German intellectual traditions. These differences between Sweden and Britain; regarding cultural influences; languages and conceptions; contributed to a broader and partly different understanding of “the two cultures” in Swedish debate.

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